SOUTHBRIDGE (CBS) — The severe damage shows just how serious the fire was. One side of a 16-unit building at the Rosemeade apartment complex on Worcester Street was reduced to charred framework.

The fire began around 9.am. Sunday. and residents say it grew fast.

“Giant ball of flame, I mean it looked like a giant fireball so if you think of a bonfire, pretty much epic, giant fire,” said resident Daniel Ryan.

Firefighters on scene at a fire in Southbridge. (Photo credit: Daniel Ryan)

Firefighters on scene at a fire in Southbridge. (Photo credit: Daniel Ryan)

“I first saw the fire at the corner of the building” says resident Richard Bready. “Flames were shooting up to the sky big black plume of smoke and I started running toward it and it only took a minute by the time I got to the other end of the development and turned around and came back this place was on fire.”

Officials said the home was recently rebuilt after it was destroyed by the 2011 tornado. Southbridge Fire Chief Mark DiFronzo says that destruction indirectly saved the complex.

“This building was brought up to all brand new code enforcement just within the last 5 years, so we’re very lucky it was rebuilt to new code standards,” DiFronzo said. “I think thats what helped keep the fire to this end of the building.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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